A fly-and-flop beach break is the favorite choice for Brits who want an overseas holiday next year, reveals research released today (Monday 1 November) by WTM London.
Almost half (43%) are planning to escape to foreign climes said a beach holiday would be their top choice.
The second most popular choice was a city break, cited by a third (31%) of respondents. Other popular options were adventure holidays (16%), cruise (15%), wellness (8%) and ski (7%).
Perhaps reflecting the fact that travel horizons have been very limited in 2020 and 2021, almost a quarter (23%) said they wanted to go long-haul, while 17% were content with a short-haul break.
And the method of booking also seems to reflect the widespread problems of holiday refunds and cancellations amid the pandemic, with a third of consumers (31%) saying they would book a package, and just 8% opting for accommodation in the sharing economy – such as AirBnB – while another 8% saying they would be happy with a DIY holiday.
The findings came from the WTM Industry Report, which polled 1,000 consumers about their travel plans – and 648 of them said they would like to have an overseas holiday next summer.
When quizzed by the pollsters about where they would like to go, the top hotspot was Spain, followed by other traditional European favorites such as France, Italy and Greece, and the USA – which has been off-limits for British holidaymakers since the pandemic took hold in March 2020.
The research will be welcome news for the beleaguered leisure travel trade, which has struggled with almost two years of turmoil, restrictions and confusing messages from ministers.
Research by Abta suggested summer 2021 bookings were 83% down on 2019 and almost half of travel companies reported no increase in 2021 bookings compared to last year, despite the vaccine program which has seen more than 80% of eligible UK adults already fully jabbed.
Tourist boards from destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the USA have already been ramping up their promotional activities over the summer to ensure their countries are front-of-mind with the trade and consumers.
And airlines and operators have been building up capacity as demand returns, especially when restrictions such as the traffic light system and PCR tests are eased.
Simon Press, WTM London, Exhibition Director, said: “We have endured almost two years of travel restrictions and confusing, expensive regulations so it’s no surprise that almost half of holidaymakers want to head to a sunny beach resort – especially as the British summer has again been disappointing for staycationers.
“Most of us have been cooped up at home during lockdown and many of us are still working from home, so the prospect of relaxing on a sun lounger in the Med is very tempting.”